“Seen”

GOSPEL | JOHN 9:35-41

35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.”  37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.”  38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.  39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”  40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?”  41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

“You have seen him” (v.37)

What a profound statement — considering that this man has never seen anything before — “You have seen him” (v.37). I’m reminded of a youth conference I went to when I was in high school, where I hear Louis Giglio talking about waking up. He read from Genesis 2, and talked about the moment when Adam woke up to God. One minute: sleep, darkness, blindness; the next: daylight, color, sight.

It’s no accident. It’s no accident that Jesus spit and made mud to restore this man (John 9:6). It’s no accident that Jesus returns to him after his being interrogated by the Pharisees, and asks, “Do you believe?” (v.35). It’s no accident. John symbolically interprets this man’s life through the mythic events of the first man’s life. He is a new creation, a brand new thing, because of his encounter with Jesus.

Lent starts with Jesus asking us the same thing: “Come and see” (John 1:39). It feels strange to see Lent as the beginning of a new life, when we usually say Easter is when we are made new. But that’s what it’s been for me: a fresh start, a new beginning, gaining sight. The Lenten call to follow Jesus has been a call to wake up, to open my eyes, and see. Thanks be to God for this season of illumination and growth!

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